Home Funding Alert Lightspeed raises $500 mn early-stage fund for India, Southeast Asia

Lightspeed raises $500 mn early-stage fund for India, Southeast Asia

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Lightspeed raises $500 mn early-stage fund for India, Southeast Asia - Market Money

Silicon Valley-based Lightspeed Venture Partners has raised $500 million (around Rs 4,000 crore) for its fourth early-stage fund in India and Southeast Asia.

On Tuesday, the venture firm invested in unicorns startups such as Byju’s, Udaan, ShareChat, Innovacer and Razorpay – announced it had raised $7.1 billion across early and growth stage vehicles globally. Out of this, $2.5 billion capital will be deployed in early-stage deals including the $500 million fund that it has raised for India.

Separately, Lightspeed also announced that it had elevated its partner Bejul Somaia, who helped set up Lightspeed’s India operations in 2008, to its leadership team globally.

The firm expects to invest in areas such as cross-border commerce, mobility, artificial intelligence-based automation and DevOps, climate and Web3 in addition to sectors such as consumer tech, Business-to-Business (B2B) commerce and enterprise, Shuvi Srivastava, partner, Lightspeed said.

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“We predominantly lead seed and Series A rounds from the venture fund and so our ticket sizes have ranged from a few hundred thousand to high single-digit million dollars. We also selectively lead Series B investments from the early fund, and draw capital from our global growth funds for later stage growth rounds,” added Shrivastava, partner, Lightspeed.

“For early-stage investments in India and Southeast Asia, we will draw capital from the dedicated $500m regional early-stage fund. For larger growth stage investment opportunities, we will be investing out of the $5 billion global growth capital pool,” said Aditya Sharma, partner, growth equity, Lightspeed.

Lightspeed’s latest fundraise comes even as the tech sector is facing a downward trend globally. Most listed tech stocks have taken a beating since the beginning of the year and private market valuations for startups have seen corrections.

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Sharma acknowledged that the macro financing environment has changed.

“We continue to be patient and selective, for the right investment opportunities at sensible values, and with the right risk-reward balance,” he added.

Lightspeed has been investing for more than 15 years in India with its first bet on online education company TutorVista Global Pvt. Ltd. It launched its first India-specific investment vehicle of $135 million in 2015 through its subsidiary Lightspeed India Partners.

In April this year, the firm elevated three of its senior executives including Shrivastava, Rahul Taneja and Pinn Lawjindakul as partners to boost its early-stage investment advisory team.

Lightspeed has invested over $1 billion in India since 2007. It is currently investing out of its third fund of $275 million which was raised in 2020.

Its other portfolio companies include Indian Energy Exchange, Oyo, Grab, Acko, and Innovaccer.

On Tuesday, the firm also said it was building a platform to back founders in blockchain infrastructure under Lightspeed Faction.

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Over the past five years, the firm has expanded to 28 professionals across four locations in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore, it said. Globally, it is present in 12 offices across six countries.

Multiple venture capital firms have launched funds this year. Sequoia Capital raised $2.85 billion across a set of funds to invest in Southeast Asia and India.

In March, Accel India, an investor in the likes of Flipkart and Freshworks, raised $650 million for its seventh fund. The following month, Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners) raised $670 million for its fifth India-focused vehicle.

Last month, ah! Ventures set up INR 150Cr Angel Fund for Early-Stage Startup.

Recently, in the month of August Ankur Capital Launched “Day Zero” Platform For Early-Stage Startups, ah! Ventures set up INR 150Cr Angel Fund for Early-Stage Startup, and Weave capital announces $75 Mn Venture fund, and Trading platform Unicorn CoinSwitch launches discovery fund for Early-Stage Web3 Startups.